Experience Egypt, from its ancient wonders to the blend of tradition and modernity that characterizes everyday life. Explore legendary monuments from the Pyramids at Gîza to the colossal statues of Abu Simbel, and discover bustling Cairo. Then set sail on the elegant Sanctuary M.S. Sun Boat IV, and view the temples and traditional villages that line the banks of the Nile.
Delve into the history and mythology behind celebrated temples and monuments with our expert Egyptologist.
Learn about recent discoveries at a private lecture by Luxor's director of antiquities.
By special arrangement, gain access to some of Egypt's recent archaeological finds and ongoing excavations.
Sail down the Nile on board a traditional felucca.
Itinerary - 11 Days
Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Cairo, Egypt
Depart on an overnight flight and arrive in Cairo the next evening. Fairmont Nile City
Day 3 — Cairo
Visit the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities to see a remarkable collection of artifacts dating back to 4000 B.C. that includes the treasures of the tomb of Tutankhamun and the Royal Mummies Room. Get an insider’s perspective on Egypt’s recent uprising during a discussion with a prominent figure in the movement, and stop by Tahrir Square. After lunch, explore the bazaar of Khan El Khalili, where merchants hawk hand-crafted jewelry and piles of fragrant spices. Later, discover the graceful architecture of Islamic Cairo’s historic mosques. Gather tonight for a welcome dinner at the hotel. Fairmont Nile City (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Cairo/Gîza
Enjoy a full day in Gîza discovering one of the world's most spectacular sights: the Pyramids. Face the imposing Sphinx, and see the reassembled funerary boat of King Khufu (or Cheops) at the Solar Boat Museum. On a private visit, gain special access to the excavation site of the workmen's tombs. Ride a camel past Gîza's ancient monuments before returning to Cairo for an evening at leisure. Fairmont Nile City (B,L)
Day 5 — Memphis/Dahshûr
Travel to the ancient capital of Memphis to see the superb statue of Ramses II. Just outside the city, stop at the Step Pyramid, built by King Djoser in 2700 B.C., and the lesser known pyramids of Dahshûr. Fairmont Nile City (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Abu Simbel/Aswân
Fly to Abu Simbel to encounter the breathtaking Temples of Ramses II and Nefertari. Then transfer to the airport for the flight to Aswân, where we set sail down the Nile aboard the Sanctuary M.S. Sun Boat IV, our home for the next three nights. After lunch on board, visit the "unfinished obelisk" and learn about the fascinating engineering feats accomplished by the ancient Egyptians when they created their colossal monuments. Sanctuary M.S. Sun Boat IV (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Aswân/Kôm Ombo/Idfu
Take a short motorboat ride to the island of Agilika this morning to explore the majestic Philae Temple. Cruise to Kôm Ombo and venture into the beautiful Greco-Roman temple dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile god. Return to the boat and journey north, taking in scenes of everyday life along the banks of the Nile River. End the day at the evocative Temple of Horus in Idfu. Sanctuary M.S. Sun Boat IV (B,L,D)
Day 8 — Luxor
With its vast array of ancient temples and monuments, Luxor is often called the world’s greatest open-air museum. Discover the sights of the west bank of the Nile today. Stop at the fabled Colossi of Memnon and the Temple of Hatshepsut, Egypt’s first female pharaoh. At the Valley of the Kings, step from a sun-drenched landscape into the dark silence of the tombs. Return to the Sanctuary Sun Boat IV for lunch and some time to relax. Later this evening, explore the magnificent Temple of Luxor. Sanctuary M.S. Sun Boat IV (B,L,D)
Day 9 — Luxor
This morning, attend a private talk about new discoveries by Luxor’s director of antiquities. Then head to the Luxor Museum and examine its beautifully presented artifacts. Following lunch, wander among the massive pillars of the Temple of Karnak. Weather permitting, board a felucca (traditional Egyptian sailboat) for an afternoon sail along the Nile. Sonesta St. George Hotel (B,L)
Day 10 — Luxor/Cairo
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for our flight to Cairo and check into our hotel upon arrival. Take advantage of a free afternoon to explore Cairo on your own. Tonight, experience true Egyptian hospitality at a farewell dinner at a private Egyptian home. Fairmont Nile City (B,L,D)
Day 11 — Cairo/U.S.
After breakfast, transfer to Cairo International Airport for your return flight. (B)
Recognized as a leading scholar of ancient Egyptian history, "Aki" Allam has been a licensed Egyptologist for more than 30 years. Born in Cairo, he received a university degree with a specialty in ancient Egyptian history. Aki is an entertaining and enthusiastic teacher who has guided National Geographic travelers through Egypt for many years. He enjoys sharing his extensive knowledge of and insights on his native land.
Akram will join the following departures:
Nov 24 - Dec 04, 2013 Dec 23, 2013 - Jan 02, 2014